Term Paper: 20Th Century the Twentieth

Pages: 8 (2699 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: History - Asian  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] The whole nation supported the INA and British resorted to brutal repression. The Indian Navy in Bombay calls for Naval strike. Acknowledging the strong anti-British notions Clement Atlee granted India independence, leading to the formation of Indian constitution and Mount Batten takes control of India. And on August 15,1947, India won her independence.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, while expressing the sentiments of the country said, "Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we will redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.... We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again." (Cited by McArthur, 1992) Following the independence, India was partitioned as India and Pakistan. The independence gained by the country brought an end to British imperialism and brought changes in the political atmosphere of the world.

World War I and Treaty of Versailles

The First World War began in 1914 as a fight between the European powers that mainly resorted to either nationalism or imperialism. The immediate causes that spurred was-- the Franco-Prussian War which brought about the loss of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany, nationalistic movements in France, the Slavic people demanding freedom from the chains of Austro-Hungarian rule and Germany's rise against Britain being a few. European superpowers got into a mire of alliances - the former allies Russia and Germany took sides due to political differences, and eventually Germany joined the weak Austria-Hungary. In the war Triple Alliance was formed by Germany, Italy and Austro-Hungary. The French, British and Russians formed the Triple Entente. War and counter wars emerged, a Serbian nationalist killing Austro-Hungarian Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, resulting in Austria-Hungary's proclamation of war against Serbia, forcing Russia to join war.

However, the balance of power eventually shifted toward the Triple Entente as they got the support of 28 Nations, though essentially colonies. War progressed basically on three major European fronts-- Eastern, Southern and Western. The Eastern Front was marked when Russia's force tried to crash into Germany. The defeat of Russian soldiers at the hands of German and the events that followed after Russian revolution and Lenin's assumption of power led to the retreat of Russians from the war.In the South, revolts from Serbia and the newly developed Turkish and Italian fronts eventually succumbed to the Triple Allies. It was the Western Front that was most crucial battleground of World War I, witnessing extensive bloodshed. The Battle of Verdun was started by Germany in February 1916, with the intention of putting an end to the French-imposed impasse. Germany failed terribly as the French refused to yield.

Grabbing the situation the British attacked French in the Battle of the Somme, which took place in July 1916, though to no benefit. The United States was forced to join World War I on April 5, 1917. This was due to the German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare. The war ended following Emperor William II fleeing Germany. This led to the new German chancellor and of the Central Powers on November 11, 1918 to accept an armistice. This was followed by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I. The Treaty of Versailles put hard terms on Germany losing Austria. The blame for causing the World War I was being put on Germany and was fined for 56 billion dollars for reparations. "This lead to the strong fanatical nationalism and the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany who sought revenge through World War II. In a sense, it could be said the 'Treaty of Versailles led to Second World War'" (Reilly, 2000)

World War II

The Second World War that started in 1939, lasting for about six years, is considered as the bloodiest wars in the history of the world. Germany was the aggressor in the war, essentially revenging for the terms of Treaty of Versailles, later joined by Italy in 1940 and Japan in 1941. The war was initiated by the invasion of Poland by Germany, forcing Britain and France to join the war, as they pledged guarantee to Poland. Germany was assisted by Russia in the attack. The entry of France and Britain in War marked the beginning of a more intensive phase of the war. From 1939 to 1945, Germany's military power dominated most of Western Europe in wars --such as the Phony war when Denmark and Norway was invaded-- and later Belgium and Netherland, and also attacking Africa and Russia. The sudden fall of France left Britain to stand-alone against Germany. In the Battle of Britain that followed, London was attacked and many industrial and strategically important cities -- Birmingham and Coventry, naval base at Plymouth etc. were invaded.

On June 22, 1941, the Germans launched an attack on Russia named Operation Barbarossa. However Russian invasion was not easy and battle prolonged, essentially because of the adverse climatic conditions, causing great losses to both Russia and Germany in the battle of Stalingrad, which came to be known as the greatest military bloodbath in world history. This battle was the first major defeat of the German army, and from then on Germany began to face defeats from Britain --North Africa, Egypt being examples. Japan's invasion of China and Japanese navy's attack of the American Fleet (working to stop Chinese invasion) at Pearl Harbor forced America into war with Japan. This made Germany to declare war on the United States, drawing America into the War. America, until then only provided military aid and remained out of the conflict. "America's entry into active war led to the end of Second World War with Japan was bombed heavily and defeated badly and Germany finally surrendering on September 2, 1945" (Roberts, 1992)

When studying the history and major events of the twentieth century as above a doubt arises as to whether the twenty first century would be as turbulent as the previous century or not. In terms of international conflicts and war, the twenty first century would not be as gory and turbulent as those of the twentieth century. With democratic governments established in most part of the world and peace initiatives and dialogues between conflicting nations negotiated by United nations and multilevel interventions, war grounds would not be as appalling as in the past. However, terrorism and intolerant governments pose a major threat to peace.

Bibliography

Brian McArthur, Penguin Book of Twentieth Century Speeches (London: Penguin Viking, 1992), pp. 234-237.

Roberts, J.M. The Penguin History of the World, The Penguin. Third Edition Helicon Publishing, 1992

Kevin Reilly, Worlds of History: A Comparative Reader: Since 1400, Bedford/St. Martin's; (February 2000)

Mao Tse-Tung, Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung: Vol. I, From: Be Concerned with the Well-Being of the Masses, Pay Attention to Methods of Work --The Concluding speech made by Comrade Mao Tse-tung at the Second… [END OF PREVIEW]

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